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Charpentiers d'Europe et d'ailleurs

Timber-frame houses in France

Distribution of timber-frame architecture Distribution of timber-frame architecture

In contrast with most other European countries, there has been little effort to map France's built vernacular heritage. For this reason, the present document, presented here for the first time, can only offer a partial and no doubt error-ridden sketch of what is currently known. It offers an overview of the major areas, both urban and rural, in which significant quantities of pre-industrial timber-frame structures can be observed.
Some villages and small towns not listed here may have timber-frame structures. Only prefecture-level cities and towns with at least twenty timber-frame edifices have been included on the map. More than fifty subprefecture-level communities have at least twenty such structures. These include Abbeville, Altkirch, Aubert, Autun, Avallon, Bar-sur-Aube, Beaune, Blesle, Brest, Briançon, Brioude, Brive-la-Gaillarde, Châlons-sur-Saône, Château-Gontier, Châteaulin, Chinon, Clamecy, Cognac, Compiègne, Confolens, Dinan, Draguignan, Dreux, Fougères, Guebwiller, Guingamp, Haguenau, La Châtre, Lannion, Limoux, Lisieux, Lorient, Louhans, Molsheim, Montluçon, Montmorillon, Morlaix, Mulhouse, Parthenay, Pontivy, Pamiers, Redon, Ribeauvillé, Romorantin-Lanthenay, Saint-Jean-d’Angély, Saint-Malo, Saint-Dizier, Saverne, Sélestat, Sens, Thann, Thiers, Vendôme, Verdun, Wissembourg.

Note that some towns may have timber-frame structures, although the rural sectors in which they are located do not.
It should be pointed out the presence of timber-frame architecture bears no relation to what was observable in the past. Certain zones may have featured the technique in the past, although no trace is now visible.

The map was compiled with information drawn from the various regional heritage departments of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, as well as from certain regional departments of the General Inventory. We are most grateful for their assistance.

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